The two Presidents met the press after a two-and-a-half-hour private discussion and a luncheon with their aides. They both confronted the "foolishness" and "danger" of allowing the relations between the two leading nuclear powers to continue to deteriorate. Putin noted that "the current tension, the tense atmosphere, essentially have no solid reason behind it. The Cold War is a thing of past. The era of acute ideological confrontation of the two countries is a thing of remote past, is a vestige of the past." He proposed setting up three different panels of experts to work on solutions to the fundamental issues: one on cyber, to get to the truth of the cyber warfare being used by the "Get Trump" task force under Robert Mueller to remove Trump from office and provoke war with Russia; another panel of business leaders, noting that over 500 leading U.S. business leaders attended the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in May; and one of political and military experts, to look for ways to collaborate on the serious issues facing mankind around the world.
Trump, in his statement, said he had determined to "continue the proud tradition of bold American diplomacy. From the earliest days of our republic, American leaders have understood that diplomacy and engagement is preferable to conflict and hostility." He said that the relationship between the two nations "has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed, as of about four hours ago." He said that "I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics."
The US and British media were their normal, hysterical frauds, but both Trump and Putin countered their lies forcefully. Asked if Russia had any "compromising material on President Trump or his family", Putin laughed, explained that he didn't even know Trump had been in the country at the time of the Steele dossier lies, and concluded that "it's difficult to imagine an utter nonsense of a bigger scale than this."
When AP demanded that Trump denounce Putin for interfering in the US election, Trump shot back, asking why the FBI never took the supposedly hacked DNC server. "Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee? I've been wondering that. I've been asking that for months and months and I've been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server?"
On Syria, Putin said that "the task of establishing peace and reconciliation in this country could be the first showcase example of this successful joint work."
The British assets in the United States are scared. They know they have been caught running a coup against the elected president of the United States on behalf of a foreign power, America's historic enemy, the British Empire. Obama's killer CIA chief John Brennan perhaps best demonstrated the hysteria among these traitors, tweeting: "Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to and exceeds the threshold of high crimes and misdemeanors. It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin."
The traitor doth protest too much.
The LaRouche organization is now situated to bring the great powers together, in the spirit of the New Silk Road, to carry forward this historic victory, to build on this optimism as a means to implement the full LaRouche program, through the Four Laws, on an international scale, as the laws that truly cohere with the anti-entropic laws of the universe.
July 16, 2018 (EIRNS)—Here are excerpts of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press conference statement:
President Putin: I think we can call it a success and a very fruitful round of negotiations. We carefully analyzed the current status—the present and the future of the Russia/United States’ relationship, key issues of the global agenda. It’s quite clear to everyone that the bilateral relationship are going through a complicated stage and yet those impediments—the current tension, the tense atmosphere—essentially have no solid reason behind it. The Cold War is a thing of past. The era of acute ideological confrontation of the two countries is a thing of remote past, is a vestige of the past....
Today both Russia and the United States face a whole new set of challenges. Those include a dangerous maladjustment of mechanisms for maintaining international security and stability, regional crises, the creeping threats of terrorism and transnational crime, the snowballing problems in the economy, environmental risks and other sets of challenges.
We can only cope with these challenges if we join the ranks and work together, hopefully we will reach this understanding with our American partners....
As major nuclear powers, we bear special responsibility for maintaining international security.... We submitted our American colleagues a note with a number of specific suggestions.
We believe it necessary to work together further on—to interact on the disarmament agenda, military and technical cooperation. This includes the extension of the Strategic Offensive Arms Limitation Treaty. It’s a dangerous situation with the global American anti-missile defense system, it’s the implementation issues with the INF treaty. And, of course, the agenda of non-placement of weapons in space.
We favor the continued cooperation in counter-terrorism and maintaining cyber security.
And I’d like to point out specifically that our special services are cooperating quite successfully together....
I recall I reminded President Trump about this suggestion to re-establish the working group on anti-terrorism.
We also mentioned a plethora of regional crises. It’s not always that our postures dovetail exactly, and yet the overlapping and mutual interests abound. We have to look for points of contact and interact closer in a variety of international fora.
Clearly, we mentioned the regional crisis, for instance Syria. As far as Syria is concerned, the task of establishing peace and reconciliation in this country could be the first showcase example of this successful joint work....
Both Russian and American military acquired useful experience of coordination of their actions, established the operational channels of communication which permit it to avoid dangerous incidents and unintentional collisions in the air and on the ground.
Also crushing terrorists in the southwest of Syria. The south of Syria should be brought to the full compliance with the Treaty of 1974—about the separation of forces, about separation of forces of Israel and Syria. This will bring peace to Golan Heights, and bring a more peaceful relationship between Syria and Israel, and also to provide security of the state of Israel....
We’re glad that the Korean Peninsula issue is starting to resolve. To a great extent it was possible thanks to the personal engagement of President Trump, who opted for dialogue instead of confrontation.
We also mentioned our concern about the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA. Well, the U.S.—our U.S. counterparts are aware of our posture....
While we discussed the internal Ukrainian crisis, we paid special attention to the bona fide implementation of Minsk Agreements by Kiev. At the same time, the United States could be more decisive in nudging the Ukrainian leadership, and encourage it to work actively on this....
American delegation was one of the largest delegations in the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. It featured over 500 representatives from American businesses. We agreed—me and President Trump—we agreed to create the high-level working group that would bring together captains of Russian and American business. After all, entrepreneurs and businessmen know better how to articulate this successful business cooperation. We will let them think and make their proposals and suggestions in this regard.
Once again, President Trump mentioned the issue of the so-called interference of Russia with the American elections, and I had to reiterate things I said several times, including during our personal contacts, that the Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere into internal American affairs, including the election process.
Any specific material, if such things arise, we are ready to analyze together. For instance, we can analyze them through the joint working group on cyber-security, the establishment of which we discussed during our previous contacts....
[One] idea is to create an expert council that would include political scientists, prominent diplomats and former military experts in both countries, who would look for points of contact between two countries, that would look for ways of putting the relationship on the trajectory of growth.
In general, we are glad the outcome of our first full-scale meeting because previously we only had a chance to talk briefly on international fora. ... Clearly, there are some challenges left when we were not able to clear all the backlog, but I think that we made the first important step in this direction.
July 16, 2018 (EIRNS)—Here are excerpts from U.S. President Donald Trump’s press conference statement:
President Trump: We had direct, open, deeply productive dialogue. Went very well....
I’m here today to continue the proud tradition of bold American diplomacy. From the earliest days of our republic, American leaders have understood that diplomacy and engagement is preferable to conflict and hostility.
A productive dialogue is not only good for the United States and good for Russia but it is good for the world.
The disagreements between our two countries are well-known and President Putin and I discussed them at length today. But if we’re going to solve many of the problems facing our world, then we’re going to have to find ways to cooperate in pursuit of shared interests.
Too often in both recent past and long ago, we have seen the consequences when diplomacy is left on the table.
We have also seen the benefits of cooperation. In the last century, our nations fought alongside one another in the Second World War. Even during the tensions of the Cold War, when the world looked much different than it does today, the United States and Russia were able to maintain a strong dialogue.
But our relationship has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed, as of about four hours ago. I really believe that.
Nothing would be easier politically than to refuse to meet, to refuse to engage, but that would not accomplish anything.
As president, I cannot make decisions on foreign policy in a futile effort to appease partisan critics, or the media, or Democrats who want to do nothing but resist and obstruct.
Constructive dialogue between the United States and Russia afford the opportunity to open new pathways toward peace and stability in our world. I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics....
During today’s meeting, I addressed directly with President Putin the issue of Russian interference in our elections. I felt this was a message best delivered in person. I spent a great deal of time talking about it. And President Putin may very well want to address it, and very strongly, because he feels very strongly about it, and he has an interesting idea.
We also discussed one of the most critical challenges facing humanity: nuclear proliferation. I provided an update on my meeting last month with Chairman Kim on the denuclearization of North Korea. And after today, I am very sure that President Putin and Russia want very much to end that problem....
Both Russia and the United States have suffered horrific terrorist attacks and we have agreed to maintain open communication between our security agencies to protect our citizens from this global menace....
As we discussed at length, the crisis in Syria is a complex one. Cooperation between our two countries has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives.
We also agreed that representatives from our national security councils will meet to follow up on all of the issues we addressed today, and to continue the progress we have started right here in Helsinki.
Today’s meeting is only the beginning of a longer process, but we have taken the first step toward a brighter future and one with a strong dialogue and a lot of thought.
Our expectations are grounded in realism, but our hopes are grounded in America’s desire for friendship, cooperation and peace. And I think I can speak on behalf of Russia, when I say that, also....
It’s in the interest of both of our countries to continue our conversation, and we have agreed to do so. I’m sure we’ll be meeting again in the future, often, and hopefully we will solve every one of the problems that we discussed today.
July 16, 2018 (EIRNS)—Here are excerpts from the media questions to Presidents Trump and Putin at their joint press conference:
Interfax: [Asked about Trump’s calling Germany a hostage of Russia due to Nord Stream 2, and about Trump calling Putin a “rival.”]
Trump: Well, actually I called him a competitor. And a good competitor he is. And I think the word “competitor” is a compliment.
I think that we will be competing when you talk about the pipeline. I’m not sure, necessarily, that it’s in the best interests of Germany or not, but that was a decision that they made. We’ll be competing—as you know, the United States is now—or soon will be, but I think it actually is right now the largest in the oil and gas world....
Putin: ...We are aware of the stance of President Trump, and I think that we, as a major oil and gas power, and the United States as a major oil and gas power as well, we could work together on regulation of international markets, because neither of us is actually interested in the plummeting of the prices. And the consumers will suffer as well, and the consumers in the United States will suffer as well. And the shale gas production will suffer. Because beyond a sudden price drop, it’s no longer profitable to—to produce gas.
But nor we are interested in driving prices up....
Then about the Nord Stream 2, Mr. President voiced his concerns about the possibility of disappearance of transit through Ukraine. And I reassured Mr. President that Russia stands ready to maintain this transit. Moreover, we stand ready to extend this transit contract that’s about to expire next year in case—if the dispute between the economic entitles—dispute will be settled in the Stockholm arbitration court.
Reuters (Jeff Mason): Mr. President, you tweeted this morning that it’s U.S. foolishness, stupidity and the Mueller probe that is responsible for the decline in U.S. relations with Russia. Do you hold Russia at all accountable for anything in particular?...
Trump: Yes I do. I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we’ve all been foolish. We should’ve had this dialogue a long time ago; a long time, frankly, before I got to office.
And I think we’re all to blame. I think that the United States now has stepped forward along with Russia, and were getting together and we have a chance to do some great things, whether it’s nuclear proliferation in terms of stopping—you have to do it, ultimately that’s probably the most important thing that we could be working on.
But I do feel that we have both made some mistakes. I think that the probe is a disaster for our country. I think it has kept us apart, it’s kept us separated.
There was no collusion at all....
And it has had a negative impact upon the relationship of the two largest nuclear powers in the world. We have 90 percent of nuclear power between the two countries.
It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous what’s going on with the probe.
Reuters: For President Putin..., why should Americans and why should President Trump believe your statement that Russia did not intervene in the 2016 election, given the evidence that U.S. intelligence agencies have provided?
And will you consider extraditing the 12 Russian officials that were indicted last week by a U.S. grand jury?...
Putin: As to who is to be believed and to who’s not to be believed, you can trust no one if you take this.
Where did you get this idea that President Trump trusts me or I trust him? He defends the interests of the United States of America, and I do defend the interests of the Russian Federation.
We do have interests that are common. We are looking for points of contact. There are issues where our postures diverge, and we are looking for ways to reconcile our differences, how to make our effort more meaningful.
We should not proceed from the immediate political interests that guide certain political powers in our countries. We should be guided by facts.
Could you name a single fact that would definitely prove the collusion? This is utter nonsense, just like the president recently mentioned....
President Trump, when he was a candidate, he mentioned the need to restore the Russia-U.S. relationship. And it’s clear that certain parts of American society felt sympathetic about it, and different people could express their sympathies in different ways. But isn’t that natural? Isn’t it natural to be sympathetic towards a person who is willing to restore the relationship with our country, who wants to work with us?
We heard the accusations about the Concord Company. Well, as far as I know, this company hired American lawyers and the accusations don’t have a fighting chance in the American courts. So there’s no evidence when it comes to the actual facts. So we have to be guided by facts and not by rumors.
Now let’s get back to the issue of these 12 alleged intelligence officers of—of Russia.... We have enacted an existing agreement between the United States of America and the Russian Federation, an existing treaty that dates back to 1999. The Mutual Assistance on Criminal Cases. This treaty is in full effect. It works quite efficiently....
So this treaty has specific legal procedures we can offer the appropriate commission headed by Special Attorney Mueller. He can use this treaty as a solid foundation and send a formal—an official request to us so that we would interrogate ... these individuals who he believes are privy to some crimes. And our law enforcement are perfectly able to do this questioning and send the appropriate materials to the United States.
Moreover, we can meet you halfway. We can make another step. We can actually permit official representatives of the United States, including the members of this very commission headed by Mr. Mueller—we can let them into the country and they will be present at this questioning.
But in this case ... there is another condition. This kind of effort should be a mutual one. Then we would expect that the Americans would reciprocate, and that they would question officials, including the officers of law enforcement and intelligence service of the United States, whom we believe ... have something to do with illegal actions on the territory of Russia, and we have to—to request the presence of our law enforcement.
For instance, we can bring up Mr. Browder in this particular case. Business associates of Mr. Browder have earned over $1.5 billion in Russia. They never paid any taxes, neither in Russia nor in the United States, and yet the money escaped the country. They were transferred to the United States. They sent huge amounts of money, $400 million as a contribution to the campaign of Hillary Clinton. Well, that’s the personal case. It might have been legal, the contribution itself, but the way the money was earned was illegal.
So we have a solid reason to believe that some intelligence officers accompanied and guided these transactions. So we have an interest of questioning them.... Options abound, and they all can be found in an appropriate legal framework....
AP (Jonathan Lemire): Just now, President Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. Every U.S. intelligence agency has concluded that Russia did. My first question for you [President Trump], sir, is who do you believe?
My second question is would you now, with the whole world watching, tell President Putin, would you denounce what happened in 2016 and would you warn him to never do it again?
Trump: ...You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server—haven’t they taken the server. Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee?
I’ve been wondering that, I’ve been asking that for months and months and I’ve been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server? I want to know where is the server and what is the server saying?
With that being said, all I can do is ask the question. My people came to me, Dan Coates came to me and some others, they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia.
I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be. But I really do want to see the server.
But I have—I have confidence in both parties ... but, I don’t think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server. What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC? Where are those servers? They’re missing; where are they? What happened to Hillary Clinton’s e-mails? 33,000 e-mails gone—just gone. I think in Russia they wouldn’t be gone so easily. I think it’s a disgrace that we can’t get Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 e-mails.
So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.
And what he did is, an incredible offer. He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people. I think that’s an incredible offer. OK?
Putin: I’d like to add something to this. After all, I was an intelligence officer myself, and I do know how dossiers are made up. That’s the first thing.
Now the second thing: I believe that Russia is a democratic state, and I hope you are not denying this right to your own country, you’re not denying that United States is a democracy. Do you believe United States is a democracy? And if so, if it is a democratic state, then the final conclusion in this kind of a dispute can only be delivered by a trial, by the court, not by the executive, by the law enforcement.
For instance, the Concord Company that was brought up is being accused, it’s been accused of interference. But this company does not constitute the Russian state. It does not represent the Russian state. And I brought several examples before.
Well, you have a lot of individuals in the United States—take George Soros, for instance—with multibillion in capital, but does it make him—his position, his posture—the posture of the United States? No, it does not. Well, it’s the same case.
There is the issue of trying a case in the court, and the final say is for the court to deliver.
We are now talking about private individuals, not about particular states. And as far as the most recent allegation is concerned, about the Russian intelligence officers, we do have an intergovernmental treaty. Please do send us the request. We will analyze it properly, and well send a formal response.
And as I said, we can extend this cooperation, but we should do it on a reciprocal basis, because we would await our Russian counterparts to provide us access to the persons of interest for us, who we believe can have something to do with the intelligence services.
Let’s discuss the specific issues, and not use the Russia and the U.S. relationship as a loose change—the loose change for this internal political struggle.
Question: A question for President Putin. Can you tell me what President Trump may have indicated to you about officially recognizing Crimea as part of Russia?
And then secondly, sir, do you, does the Russian government have any compromising material on President Trump or his family? [laughter]
Putin: President Trump and—well, posture of President Trump on Crimea is well known, and he stands firmly by it. He continued to maintain that it was illegal to annex it.
Our viewpoint is different. We held a referendum in strict compliance with the UN Charter and the international legislation....
And now, to the compromising material. Yeah, I did hear these rumors that we allegedly collected compromising material on Mr. Trump when he was visiting Moscow. Well, distinguished colleague, let me tell you this: When President Trump was at Moscow back then, I didn’t even know that he was in Moscow. I treat President Trump with utmost respect, but back then when he was a private individual, a businessman, nobody informed me that he was in Moscow.
Well, let’s take St. Petersburg Economic Forum, for instance. There were over 500 American businessmen, high-ranking, high-level ones. I don’t even remember the last names of each and every one of them. Well—do you think that we try to collect compromising material on each and every single one of them?
Well, it’s difficult to imagine an utter nonsense of a bigger scale than this.
Well, please, just disregard these issues and don’t think about this anymore again.
Trump: It would have been out long ago. And if anybody watched Peter Strzok testify over the last couple of days—and I was in Brussels watching it—it was a disgrace to the FBI, it was a disgrace to our country, and you would say that was a total witch hunt.
Italy’s Minister Salvini in Moscow Insists, Bring Russia Back into the ‘European Family’
July 16, 2018 (EIRNS)—Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini addressed a press conference today in Moscow at which he said he intended to encourage the European Union to ease sanctions on Russia, arguing that it were better to bring Russia back “into the European family,” and echoing Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s affirmation in Canada that Russia’s membership to the G8 should be restored. He commented that the planned summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, is “a wonderful start.”
“We hope we will be able to convince other governments with democracy and convincing numbers,” he reported, as vetoes “are only a last resort,” and sanctions have never worked, “in the history of humanity.” It were far better, he stressed, to work out problems through “meetings and dialogue” than through sanctions. As for Russia, it “has a right to a seat with the most powerful leaders.” Following today’s successful Helsinki summit, he told TASS that he’d like to invite the U.S. and Russian Presidents to hold their next summit in Italy.
He also reaffirmed that Italy is not seeking an exit from the euro.
“We are giving the European Union a last chance to continue to exist as it is,” Bloomberg quoted him as saying.
Salvini did not meet with Putin during his visit, but was scheduled to meet with Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, officials from the Russian Security Council, and representatives of Italian and Russian business communities, Sputnik reported.
In an interview with the Rainews24 TV channel, as reported by Sputnik, Salvini explained that, since sanctions are unworkable, he is “looking forward to returning to [joint] work, maintaining a dialogue, tackling cultural and trade cooperation between Italy and Russia.... I am proud to be the first minister of the new Italian government who arrived with an official mission to Russia ... but for tomorrow’s political and economic talks.”
Interviewed by Sputnik, Gianmatteo Ferrari, a member of Italy’s Lega party, which Salvini heads, praised the “cooperative” nature of the Trump-Putin summit, emphasizing that if the “Russia-U.S. dialogue begins, I’m sure that the Russia-EU dialogue will also start, thanks to the pressure of Italy and Matteo Salvini, who was in Moscow today.”